UPDATE: See new post on asparagus here.
Asparagus is a vegetable that we were served only occasionally when I was a child. Mother opened a can of asparagus spears and heated them on the stove with a couple of tablespoon of butter. I rather liked the funny-smelling, slimy little devils.
At some point I had fresh asparagus, probably steamed, but not within an inch of its life. It was tender but still had some body. I don’t remember if it had a sauce or not. But I do remember wondering how something this green, and tasty became the yellowish, slimy pseudo-asparagus of my youth.
I have not had canned asparagus, or frozen, since then. Now that fresh asparagus is available year-round, there is no reason to settle for second, or third best.
One bundle of asparagus can serve the two of us easily, maybe even with some leftovers. I usually steam it and sometimes serve it with a dollop of a super quick dijon/tarragon sauce*, and sometimes just rolled in browned butter.
Last spring, I had a delicious asparagus and spring pea soup at Panera. As soon as I could, I went to Panera’s website where nutritional and ingredient listings are available for menu items. I found the ingredients for their asparagus soup, and after “googling” for other similar recipes, came up with my own interpretation. I thought it was good and prepared it a few times when fresh peas were available at the farmer’s market. Someday, I’ll share the recipe with you.
Asparagus is a vegetable that a lot of people dislike. One reason may be one of the peculiar aspects of asparagus-eating, the peculiar odor appearing in the urine of some people soon after eating it. Apparently, only 40% of the population displays this odor, and only 40% can detect it. Curiouser and curiouser.The United States is the world’s largest producer of asparagus, mainly in Michigan, Washington and California. Peru exports the most asparagus followed by China and Mexico.
*Dijon/Tarragon Sauce for Asparagus(The amounts depend of how many people are to be served. The following amounts are for at least two generous servings.)
Mix the following and serve on cooked asparagus:
2 T.Mayonnaise (Hellmans’, of course)
1 t. Dijon mustard1
t. Dried tarragon, or fresh if you have it——————————-Photo credit